Camp talks are the best, aren’t they?
I’ll never forget one year, I heard a camp talk about the different characters we tend to see God as. One was that we sometimes see God as a genie (just there to grant our wishes). Another was that God is a teddy bear (we go to Him just when we need comfort). And then there was God-zilla. I’ll let your imagination define that one. There’s probably a time to talk about each of these, but I wanted to talk about one that sneaks up on us all too often--God as a police officer.
I remember learning about the omnipotence of God when I was a kid. Just the idea of God being able to be everywhere at once was crazy intimidating. “You mean no matter where I am, no matter what I do, He sees me?” I might be able to hide a mistake from my parents, but I couldn’t hide it from God.
I hate to admit this. But far too often, I'll process things from this perspective: “What negative impacts does this have on me?” The truth is that God seeing all my inadequacies and failures is not something I’m excited about. It makes me pretty sad. And compared to His perfection, I would think He gets tired pretty quickly of me.
In fact, I'd expect Him to start acting just like a police officer. He's seen me mess up enough. He knows the hurt my life and choices can cause others. Why wouldn't He just stay one step ahead of me and then shut me down before I cause more pain?
Psalm 103:10-11 says that, "He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him." God wasn't interested in creating humans so that he could patrol them. He wanted to show them forgiveness and see them mirror that same forgiveness to one another.
In fact, God does something significantly crazy: He uses His omnipotence for our good.
David talks about this in Psalm 139 saying, “I can never get away from your presence!... [Wherever I am,] your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.” And I don't know about you, but I don't tend to just naturally think about this. I tend to revert to Policeman God. But if my gut doesn't accurately portray Him, I'm the only one in my way of knowing and experiencing Him more.
If you find yourself in a similar place, write this Scripture down. Memorize it. Keep bringing it back to remind you of what's really true, so that truth can guide your heart and mind.
God is not a police officer just waiting for you to mess up.
God is with you offering supernatural strength in every situation you face today.